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Mysterious secret food information
will now be revealed by CHEF TUNES!

Question: Why doesn't drinking water cool your mouth after eating spicy food?

The spices in most of the hot foods that we eat are oily, and, like your elementary school science teacher taught you, oil and water don't mix. In this case, the water just rolls over the oily spices.

So what can you do to calm your aching tongue? Try one of these three methods. Eat bread. The bread will absorb the oily spices. A second solution is to drink milk. Milk contains a substance called "casein" which will bind to the spices and carry them away. Finally, you could drink something alcoholic. Alcohol will dissolve the oily spices.

They weren't invented in France, so why does everybody call them "French fries?"

It's true, the French fry wasn't invented in France. (Its origin is probably Belgian.) But the "French" in French fries doesn't refer to its country of origin. It refers to the way in which this side dish is prepared.

Food that is cut into strips is said to be "Frenched." Since French fries are strips of potato that have been fried, they became known as French fried potatoes, or "French fries."

Why is it called a "hamburger" if it doesn't contain ham?

At first glance, it seems that the word "hamburger" is a
combination of the words "ham" and "burger." Therefore, one
naturally assumes that a hamburger is a burger that
contains ham.

But the word "hamburger" actually traces its roots back to Hamburg Germany, where people used to eat a similar food called the "Hamburg steak." Eventually, the Hamburg steak made its way to the United States, where people shortened its name to "hamburger."

Were hot dogs ever made of dogs?

Nah. But when they were first introduced, people wouldn't touch hot dogs for fear that they were made of dogs. (More in the next question.)

How'd the hot dog get its strange name?

The hot dog was originally called "frankfurter" after Frankfurt, Germany, its birthplace. But from the beginning people called it "dachshund sausage," because it looked like the long, thin dog.

In the US, the German sausage was especially popular with New York baseball fans, who bought the newfangled sandwich from vendors who sold them by yelling, "Get your dachshund sausages while they're red hot."

Ted Dorgan, a leading cartoonist, thought these vendors were so comical, that he decided to lampoon them. In his cartoon, they were shown selling REAL dachshund dogs in a roll, yelling "Get your hot dogs!" at each other. The name stuck, and the rest is history.

Apples and Pears

Cultivated apples all descend from wild crab    apples that grow in Northern Europe, Asia,  and America.  Apple trees can grow up to 40 feet (12  meters) high.

The U.S. crop of apples is about 4,427,000 metric tons per year.

Pear trees can grow to 60 feet (18 meters) and may be as old as 300 years.

Pear wood is hard and can be used to make furniture.

Apple wood is soft and is sometimes used to make decorative in-lays on wooden furniture.

Oranges, Lemons, and Limes

Orange trees first grew in China.

Oranges were taken to Europe by Arab traders  more than 1,000 years ago.

A medium-sized orange contains the amount  of vitamin C that a healthy adult should eat   daily.

Lemons, oranges, and limes are all citrus  fruits. Their juices contain citric acid.

Grated lemon peel is called zest an is  sometimes used as flavoring in baking and in   candies.

British sailors were given lime juice to keep   them from getting a disease called scurvy   (malnutrition illness caused by a lack of    certain vitamins). British sailors were often   called “Limeys” because of this.


People in the tropics have eaten bananas for  thousands of years.

There are more than 100 varieties of bananas,  some even have red skin.

Bananas have high levels of sugars, starch,  and vitamins A and C.

Banana ash is used to make soap.


The name pine-apple was the original name  for a pine cone (grows on pine trees).  Because the fruit pineapple looked like a huge   pine cone, it too was called a pine-apple.

Pineapples contain an enzyme that is used inblood tests.

Fibers in pineapple leaves are used to make  rope and a cloth called pino.


Pineapples are related to rainforest plants  called bromeliads.

Strawberries and Raspberries

The strawberry probably got its name originally from the Anglo-Saxon word streawberige, which means “spreading berry.”

Most raspberries are red, but some varieties   are white, yellow, or black.

Raspberries may have been named after a  16th century French wine called raspis.

Raspberries used to be called hindberries.

Peaches, Apricots, Cherries, and Plums

Peaches and apricots and rich in vitamins A  and C.

Apricots were first grown in China more than 4,000 years ago.

The wild plum of Northern Europe is the sloe. Sloes have small, hard, bitter fruit. The sloe fruit is used to make a type of alcoholic  called sloe gin.

Round cherry pits were used to play games such as marbles.

Almonds are the nutlike seeds from a fruit that looks like a green apricot.

Berries Blackberry juice was used to dye cloth blue and indigo.

Black currants are rich in vitamins C and B.

Currant juice can be used to soothe sore throats and colds.

Pemmican is a Native American cake of dried meat flavored with dried currants. (For a modern recipe see Snack in the Saddle Again).

The gooseberry is called the “mackeral currant” in French because gooseberry sauce is served with mackerel, a type of fish.


Watermelons are related to climbing plants that probably came from tropical Africa.

Melons can grow to 40 pounds (18 kilograms) or more.

Vine fruits Grapes were grown by the ancientEgyptians more than 6,000 years ago.

Passion fruits were first grown in Brazil.

Kiwi plants were first grown in China.

Kiwis were once known as Chinese gooseberries.

Some Mediterranean Fruits

Olive trees can live for more than 1,500 years.

Figs were one of the fruit most often eaten by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Soft dates contain saccharine, which is sometimes used as a sugar substitute for diabetics

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